Work Life @ Seoul Robotics: 6 month update

Work Life @ Seoul Robotics: 6 month update

Aug 20, 2023
Recently, my blog's weekly views have dropped below 50, a huge dip from the 200 views per week I had last month. But that’s okay — this platform isn't monetized, so I'm not anticipating high engagement for this post.
In a way, that gives me the freedom to express myself without excessive self-filtering, as I tend to be overly politically correct to avoid causing offense. Here's a more candid take:

A small intro to Seoul Robotics

For someone reading who doesn’t know about the company Seoul Robotics —
Seoul Robotics is a start up based in Seoul that builds software to fully utilize LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors.
The goal of Seoul Robotics is to make robots intelligent by helping them understand the world like humans. The company provides its services in automotive, security, retail fields, and even airports.
notion image

6 month update at Seoul Robotics

I joined Seoul Robotics, Product Team on March 01, 2023 after 5 rounds of interview (which took around 2 months in finish), one of which included a difficult AF full-stack technical assignment.
Now it has been 6 months of working under the product development team with:
  • Mog (Team lead),
  • Jungsu (Senior Software Engineer),
  • Minhoon (Junior Software Engineer) and
  • me who’s also a junior SWE.
    • notion image

What I have worked on in the last 6 months

Diverse Projects and constant growth

March, April: SENSR web front-end & QuickConnect
I started by working on the web front-end for SENSR 3.0, our flagship product.
But things shifted quickly, the product team focused on developing QuickConnect (or MacGyver, it’s internal name), tapping into the power of native SENSR which is built with C/C++.
Learning Babylon.js, a 3D graphics JavaScript library, was a steep curve, especially integrating it with React and TypeScript. Currently, there’s not much React + TS documentation for Babylon.js out there, so it was a challenge, which is why I'm considering sharing my insights through tutorials on this blog.
May, June, July: QuickConnect fixes + updates, License Portal Version 3 and Seoul Robotics Version Manager (SVM)
While developing new features of QuickConnect, fixing bugs, I've also contributed to crafting automated scripts for clients (SR has customers all around the world) integration with SENSR and QuickConnect (the Jeju script) and led the frontend development of License Portal Version 3.
August: In depth documentation & CI/CD
In August, I dived into automated backend testing using Go, exploring CI/CD and GitHub actions.
Over these past 6 months, this is the stack I got really used to coding with:
  • React.js - Next.js (deploying on Vercel)
  • TypeScript
  • Zustand (state management)
  • Babylon.js
  • Go
  • Docker
  • PostgresSQL
notion image

More about the work culture here:Divide & Conquer

Teams at Seoul Robotics are deliberately kept small, (4 to 5 individuals), fostering a close-knit environment. which should have been an advantage but this can inadvertently lead to a lack of cross-team interaction and communication. Basically, a culture of division.
I value social interaction and camaraderie, so it's been challenging on days when team interaction is minimal. Sometimes this impacts my mental well-being.
While my observations seem specific to our team, this division is reflected even in our office layout.
There's a physical separation between divisions – product, business development, finance, people on one side; and R&D on the other, despite sharing the same floor.
When I was still relatively new at Seoul Robotics, we had this wonderful company-wide practice of hosting cross-functional events - each employee had a $400 budget to organize events, which injected a vibrant energy into our weekly routines.
Unfortunately, starting in June, this practice was discontinued, leading to a more subdued work environment. Which is okay, I totally understand budget cuts at a startup.
Still my point is that - while work IS the priority, a dynamic & FUN environment can greatly contribute to our overall productivity and happiness.
ITS JUST MY OPINION that it's important to strike a balance between focused work and fostering a positive atmosphere in any workplace :]
notion image